Is STREtek® the solution to the UK's birch plywood shortages?
Shortages of birch plywood are increasing and prices are over double to what they were a year ago.
With about 80% of the global birch plywood production coming from Russia, coupled with recent legislation having made it illegal to import it into Europe since 10th July 2022, there is now a European supply gap needing to be plugged for well over 100,000 m3/month. The U.K.’s share alone is close to 9,000m3/month. On top of this, increased production costs linked directly to the increased costs of logs , chemicals for the resins and energy to run the factory are occurring.
So how will the birch plywood shortage be plugged?
The trouble is, birch plywood is a difficult product to substitute. But why?
To start with, we have the species birch (betula pendula) slowly grown due to the climate, producing a dense, consistent, close-grained hardwood with excellent strength, peeling and gluing properties.
Then from these logs, a plywood is manufactured with a multi-laminated core construction with minimal core gaps/overlaps , if any at all , thicker face veneers than many other plywood panels all with tight thickness and dimensional tolerances.
With no off the shelf alternative solution presenting itself, the way forward was begging for a technical plywood to be created with similar characteristics to the birch plywood construction and this is how STREtek® was born.
STREtek® is an FSC technical hardwood throughout plywood solution, with a multi-lamination core construction , along with one-piece plug-free thick faces, tight thickness and dimensional tolerances, exterior class 3 glue-line ,available in both Poplar Throughout and in a higher density Beech faced Eucalyptus option.